For a year and a half, Shane Wamsley returned to his Salt Lake City home from his day job as a financial controller and began another one: eight hours of data entry at his computer. On weekends, he'd log even longer hours.
Wamsley, working as a volunteer, was compiling a database of burial records for Bayside Cemetery, which dates back to 1842 and has approximately 35,000 graves.
Visitors to Salt Lake City during the Winter Games have seen the first signs of the city’s effort to change its public face — tree-lined mediums on major streets, a light rail system, more parks.
And some visitors have met the man behind the changes — Stephen Goldsmith, Salt Lake City director of planning and fourth-generation Salt Lake City Jew.
Only a few thousand Jews live in Utah, international center of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints, better known as the Mormons.
But, says a researcher in Salt Lake City, several thousand Jews are on the Mormon Church’s membership rolls — Jews who were posthumously baptized and converted into the Mormon faith.
Yossi Goldberg played soccer and basketball as a boy growing up in Israel, but figure skating was in his blood — his mother was a figure skater in Lithuania.
That, says Goldberg, founder and president of the Israeli Figure Skating Association, is why he has devoted a dozen years to a winter sport in a Mediterranean country.
The last time Mordechai Gafni was in the news was two years ago, when the charismatic and controversial rabbi accused of sexual misconduct here and in Israel was dismissed as the rebbe of Bayit Chadash, a spiritual renewal community in Tel Aviv.
Faced with sexual abuse complaints filed with the police in Israel by several women who were former students or employees of Bayit Chadash, Gafni came to the U.S., issued a public statement apologizing to those he had hurt, said he was “sick” and needed treatment, and disappeared.